City moves forward with TIF districts

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The Minden City Council is now moving forward with the creation of the Tax Increment Financing districts and forming a board for the second incentive for economic development.
In a special meeting Tuesday, council members voted unanimously to authorize Mayor Tommy Davis to sign the engagement letters from the law firm of Adams and Reese LLP for their services in creating the TIF districts as well as the Industrial Development Board to handle the Payment in Lieu of Taxes economic incentive.

Minden Economic Development Director James Graham says he’s thankful the city council, Mayor Tommy Davis and the Webster Parish Convention and Tourism Commission is on board with ways to offer incentives to draw business into Minden.

“I feel a great deal of gratitude for their confidence in our economic development program and strategy,” he said.

In the meeting, Graham thanked the commission for their partnership in this endeavor.
Davis says in the cooperative endeavor agreement with the Webster Parish CVB, they’ve agreed to take on at least 50 percent of the costs, with a $30,000 cap on it. Tourism would pay up to $15,000 for the attorney’s costs and the city would pick up the remaining $15,000.

This does not mean costs will rise to $30,000, he emphasized, it is the cap. Tourism and the city will be billed separately from the law firm, Davis said, adding that if billed services go over the $30,000, then both the commission and the city council will have to agree on it.

The council also approved the two letters of engagement, which outlines what the city and tourism will be paying for, along with what services the law firm will offer, such as the drafting of any resolutions or proposed ordinances that might come up in the implementation of the TIFs or the PILOTs.

The second engagement letter deals with all matters related to the creation of an industrial development board, which the city must have in order to offer the PILOT incentives, Graham said.

“Pursuant to Louisiana law, you have to have an industrial development board to implement the type of PILOT that will be an incentive to all kinds of businesses,” he said.
The board would be comprised of five people likely appointed by the mayor and city council, and it was suggested that these five people come from the five TIF districts within the corporate limits of Minden that will be created.

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